So, if you are one of the surprising number of folks who feels that a trans woman should not look like “a man in a dress ” (see Caitlyn Jenner’s recent controversial comments), what do you think about the policy of the Seven Sisters Festival in Australia?
You may have read that the festival is a three-day feminist retreat that — unlike other similar festivals — WILL allow transgender women to attend, but only “if they have undergone all the surgical procedures to become a woman,” Mashable.com and others are reporting.
In other words, pre-op trans women are not permitted to attend because they are still “physically men,” according to the organizers.
As you might expect, the policy is drawing a lot of criticism, and the festival’s organizers are feeling the heat. They are reportedly reviewing their policy and seeking opinion on the matter.
As Mic.com reports, “Similar debates over trans inclusion at festivals have happened in the United States: Most notably, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, which held its final festival this year, notoriously banned trans women from attending. ”
I’m not offering a personal opinion on this one. I want to hear from readers, particularly those who support the line of thought that trans women should not look “like a man in a dress,” and should make themselves as stereotypically feminine — from the conservative patriarchal point of view — as possible so that people (read: men) won’t feel uncomfortable by their presence.
If you agree with that line of thought, do you feel the Seven Sisters Festival is justified in barring trans women who still have their male bits etc.? Do you feel that pre-op trans women should understand that their presence there — especially if they look like “a man in a dress — could, in theory, make some women feel uncomfortable?
And, finally, for those who don’t buy into any of the superficial appearance stuff (i.e. the majority), do you think the Seven Sisters Festival should be allowed to invite or not invite whoever they like? Or do you feel they should be forced to open their gates to anyone who identifies as female?
— Jillian Page